• Are you looking for extra academic depth and challenge during your LLM?
  • Are personal and professional development key for you?
  • Do you want to establish professional contacts that contribute substantially to your learning process?
  • Are you looking to develop your professional lawyering skills in a legal clinic setting?

The LLM's Honours Programme of Utrecht Law School (in Dutch: Honoursprogramma) may be just what you are looking for!

The Honours Programme is designed for excellent, motivated, and enthusiastic students who want to enrich their master’s studies. This is an Honours Programme pursued in addition to the regular Master’s programme. It focuses on academic depth and opportunities for personal and professional development.


  • Monthly evening meetings: in small groups, you co-organise content meetings for the other honours students.
  • The clinical programme: as part of the monthly meetings, you take part in lawyering and research skills trainings. You subsequently learn to apply these skills to the subject matter of your own LLM by producing legal and policy memoranda for real clients, acting under the supervision of a lecturer.
  • The law and literature project: you read, review, and present a work of fiction related to law. Read an inspiring example written by our honours students; a review of Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot. 
  • Social activities: you to get to know the other honours students in a social environment.


  • You will be exceptionally well prepared for a successful career as a lawyer, either in a law practice or in academics.
  • You will have established a sound network of motivated peers and professionals.
  • You will have partially designed your own master’s programme and, therefore, will have contributed to aspects of your personal and professional development that you think are important.
"I had the chance to develop several essential skills during a year filled with learning experiences, skills-trainings, client work and more".
Eric Hooydonk, LLM Public International Law

You will hit the ground running!’ At the beginning of my LLM, this sentence was used to convince me to join Utrecht Law School’s Honours Programme. And, although it might seem somewhat cliché, nothing is more true. Because of this great opportunity, I had the chance to develop several essential skills during a year filled with learning experiences, skills-trainings, client work and more. The Honours Programme challenged me to step out of my comfort zone, taught me skills which are essential for a successful career and showed me how to look at the law from perspectives I had not yet discovered. What made the programme an even better experience was the fact that I was able to enjoy everything with a group of highly motivated fellow students and supervisors. The Utrecht Law School Honours Programme was a great addition to my regular curriculum and it most definitely made me ‘hit the ground running’!


The Honours Programme is offered within the following programmes: 

Company and Law (Onderneming en recht)
Constitutional and Administrative Law (Staats- en bestuursrecht)
European Criminal Justice in a Global Context - starting from 2020-2021
Intellectual Property Law, Innovation and Technology (Intellectueel eigendomsrecht, innovatie en technologie) - starting from 2020-2021
Law and Technology in Europe (vanaf academisch jaar 2020-2021)
Criminal Law (Strafrecht) 
European Law
Public International Law
Private Law  (Privaatrecht) 


  • You will be eligible to participate in the Honours Programme, if you:
  • Are enrolled in one of the recognized programmes and apply within the deadline (September 15 for all of the programmes);
  • Demonstrate a clear interest in participating in activities that fall outside the basic curriculum;
  • Possess excellent intellectual capacities (evidenced by a high grade point average for your bachelor’s degree or previous master’s degree, comparable to an average of 7.3 or higher out of 10 in the Dutch system for your entire BA or previous LLM or an average grade of 8.0 or higher in your third Bachelor year);
  • Are prepared and accustomed to working hard (the Honours Programme requires an additional study load of 10 hours per week on top of your regular study requirements); and
  • Possess strong communication skills and initiative.

Admission to the Honours Programme is a competitive selection process for which you can apply in the first month of your studies in Utrecht, after you have been admitted to your regular Master’s programme. If you are already interested in the programme now, make sure to indicate this in your application letter for the LLM of your choice. The programme itself will start each year in early October. The selection will take place in September and will be based on an assessment of your  CV, a motivation letter, and grade list, as well as through interviews. Please send in your application to:

If you are selected, you will enter into an agreement with Utrecht Law School to demonstrate your commitment to the programme. 


In 2015-2016, an clinic team of the LLM's Honours Programme produced work for the Public Interest Litigation Project (PILP) of the Dutch Commission of Jurists on the Dutch System Risk Indication (Systeem Risico Indicatie: SyRI), which is a data-proscessing system that can process data sets from different governmental institutions to signal tax and allowance fraud and non-compliance with labour regulations. In its legal and policy memorandum, the team addressed the questions of to what extent does SyRI comply with data protection principles based on Council of Europe and European Union law? And, what are the risks that follow from (partial) non-compliance with data protection principles based on Council of Europe and European Union law? In a second research memorandum, the clinic team produced a comparative state-practice memorandum focusing on the jurisdictions of the United Kingdom (UK), Germany and the United States (US) to provide contrasting examples of data protection principles and of anti-fraud systems similar to SyRI.